January – A Haibun

January sighs with dreary days covered with wet grey skies. It’s an in between time – the rush of people, things and holiday tradition has passed but the sweet smell and green tints of spring are still a long way away. January helps us practice the hopeful anticipation that seeds have mastered.

January whispers so you can for hide and sleep without guilt, hibernating like wise bears not scampering about like silly squirrels. The search should be for food for your mind and soul, and can be found through sleepy reflections and cozy inquiries.

January skies

Waiting to uncover spring

Reflect sleepy thoughts

This Haibun was written for dVerse 1st Haibun Monday of 2019 – theme: January.

Yes, I know it’s Wednesday but I’ve realized I am not fast poetry thinker or writer. It takes me a while to formulate my thoughts and craft my words. But once that’s done, the poem springs from my head triumphantly like Athena from Zeus’.

January always seems like a hard month. There is the let down (whether is release or relief) from the holiday hype of December and New Year’s Day but it’s still too far away from March and the warm of spring. It also doesn’t have a claim to fame like February which is a short month full of hearts and candy love. Hopefully, reading all these haibuns about January will give new perspective on this month.

©️ iido 2019

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Bed and Breakfast – A Haibun

The blue sky smelled of manure. Even the allure of coffee and raw milk, homemade bread with rhubarb jam and omelets plucked from their mother just that morning couldn’t overcome the scent that distinctly said, “You’re on a working farm.”

The distinct sound of a tractor pulled up to the farmhouse door. The farmer offered us a hay ride around the farm and explained the difference between hay and straw, silo versus barn. The farmer named each machine and it’s purpose, but not the animals.

That night, I briefly wondered if the chicken that gave her life for our pot pie dinner also sacrificed her progeny for our breakfast. And if the rooster that would wake us in the morning, knew what happened to his family.

Plastic and foam trays

Deception and protection

Farmers eat the truth

Yes, that’s me on a tractor – picture courtesy of one of my sorority sisters who posted some “throwback pictures” of a reunion we had a bed and breakfast in the Pennsylvania countryside a few years after we graduated college. I don’t think the tractor was actually moving for the picture, but it was a first for this city girl!

Coincidentally, Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing prompt requested: This week share poem/s out of your own nostalgia, experience, impressions, gratitude, concerns, or convictions about farms, farming, or farm policy. Despite now living in “farm country”, I still don’t know about farming although I do appreciate the numerous farmers markets in our area.

One thing I do know: I am very appreciative of the men and women who work on farms because I know I don’t have the constitution or inclination to grow things or kill things to eat. Maybe because living in cities, I was never exposed to that reality and thus my aversion to being close to the true source of what I/we eat. Food came in a package and didn’t have faces. Maybe if more people were aware of the reality of farming, there would be less food waste and a better understanding of the need to conserve and protect the environment/nature and animals as finite resources. But what do I know…I’m just a city girl…

©️ iido 2018

No Need to Wait – A Haibun

Raindrops on my window pane remember another time, another storm, another breath of waiting. It was still new and exciting back then. Now, it’s just worrisome as time goes faster and faster.

Waiting for that look

When you turn your head and wave

Not today – you’ve grown

Imelda at dVerse hosted Haibun Monday with the theme: Waiting. As a mom, I spend a lot of time waiting for my kids – to get ready in the morning, to get them from school, to do their chores; also waiting while they are at their numerous after school activities. I usually try to catch up on correspondence during those few minutes or use that time to type out thoughts for a poem. Sometimes, I just sit and listen to music or to the silence before the kids fill the space.

The picture above is of my older daughter doing a ropes course. See her, on the right, in the trees? Such a brave girl! I realize as they get older, they won’t need me to wait for them anymore. They might go with their friends or (gasp!) be able to drive themselves to/from school, activities. The nine months of waiting for them seemed to last forever and now the time is going too fast! Soon, I will no longer need to wait.

©️ iido 2018

The Hershey Half Marathon – A Haibun and Race Review

Race day was wear-pajamas-and-a-blanket-while-sipping-hot-cocoa-by-the-fire chilly. The first few miles felt like getting slapped by icy fingers. The middle miles were warmed by enthusiastic cheers and hills that heated legs. At the end of 13.1, the glow of accomplishment kept us warm while our friendship felt as heavy and solid as our medals.

Wind whispers “Give up”

The hill is steep, legs are tired

Friend shouts “Keep going”

The race begins! See how nice my hair looks…

A quick photo stop with my MRTT running buds, Heather and Michele.

At the end with my KitKat medal in front of Chocolate a World. Notice the hair – courtesy of wind and sweat!

The Hershey Half Marathon was held on a windy day in October this year. It was cold but warmed up a bit as the sun came up. I ran intervals with two wonderful women from my Moms Run this Town chapter, Michele and Heather. Our goal was 2:45 which we missed by 3 minutes. But that was ok. It was a PR for Michele and my best time coming back from health issues. Heather is a speedster but wanted to take it easy this race since she had other races coming up and didn’t get much running before this one.

This was one of those races where we all agreed it was about the journey and not the destination (time 😁). We were pretty consistent on the intervals – except for the part when, after cresting a very steep hill that had a DJ blasting “Cotton Eyed Joe” at the top, I decided to celebrate by breaking out my dance moves. That was a mistake although quite fun! I broke my stride, started to cramp in my calf and needed some extra walk breaks after that. Note to self – doing the “running man” does not count as a running interval!

Despite that running gaffe, the race itself was great! Michele and I had trained together for this one and we had all run it before so the hilly route was familiar. The wind was definitely a factor – I had to chase down my visor at one point after it blew away. They give out little Hershey chocolate bars in the last 2-3 miles of the race which is nice little treat. The one part of the course I don’t like is running through the empty parking lot as you head towards the stadium. The crowd support, especially around the Milton Hershey School, is excellent which is such a contrast to this desolate area that comes right at the end of race. Also disappointing this year was there was no cookie at the end!! Not that I needed a cookie but yes, I did need a cookie!!

I still don’t have any races scheduled for 2019…any suggestions, especially for races with great swag, are welcome! Lastly – a big shout out to MRTT and especially Heather and extra loud for Michele!! You ladies are in inspiration for my perspiration! ❤️

Estuary Reflections – A Haibun

Morning brought bright blue skies mirroring estuary waters. The brackish mingling of salt and freshwater flavored the air. On one side, sand and rocks provide an anchor for tall grasses and brave trees. On the other, a cloud white sailboat glided smoothly over the waves, contrasting the rugged terrain. In the middle, seagulls and turkey vultures discussed the day’s menu.

Estuary brings

A mix of contradictions

Reflecting my life

I chaperoned my daughter’s overnight trip to a science adventure camp with her school this week. It was a beautiful setting on the Chesapeake Bay to learn about ecology and foster character building. The terrain was rough and rugged along the shoreline, my inspiration for Pic and a Word #159. While I didn’t capture images along the shoreline, these images from one of the overlook points were still quite picturesque!

This is post is also my first Haibun! There was a prompt on Monday from dVerse Poets that I wasn’t able to do but I wanted to try this poetry form. A haibun is simply a short work of objective prose followed by a haiku and was popularized by the 17th century Japanese poet, Matsuo Bashō. I quite like the “commentary” of the prose and the haiku is like the punctuation to drive the sentiment home. What do you think of this first try?

©️ iido 2018